View Full Version : Do lodgers need to sign an AST or is there another Form and Elder Abuse!
23-12-2011, 19:36 PM
I normally use the forum to sort out issues of my own property. But the past year or so has been trouble free touch wood. My mother however has been renting out a room for her adult son and girlfriend for several years and run into some serious debt lending him money and not getting any rent either.I had my suspicions as did the rest of the family but I've taken on the task to bring a stop to it before it gets much worse. I can advise my mum to get him to sign an AST but I just wanted to check if this form was appropriate as he is a lodger and won't be paying a deposit. I want to make sure that he has a legally binding contract for both him and his girlfriend who have taken the you know what for years. Bah to his Humbug.
23-12-2011, 19:45 PM
Is mum's property in England?? Does she live in it?? (If so your brother as Lodger can't have an AST I think...)
23-12-2011, 19:52 PM
Yes mum's property is in England and yes she lives in it.
23-12-2011, 20:01 PM
An AST would not be appropriate, but you can get a 'lodger agreement' from WHSmiths for around a tenner. http://www.whsmith.co.uk/CatalogAndSearch/ProductDetails.aspx?productID=90010941
Alternatively, eviction is easy.
23-12-2011, 20:09 PM
Thanks guys I've only used AST so I wasn't familiar with any other types. I think WHSmiths sells stockings as well so I'll know what to put in my brothers. I joke but it's really not funny. :(
23-12-2011, 20:41 PM
Who's name is on the deeds for the house?? Mum's?? (Hope so..).. And does she want to evict your bro??
23-12-2011, 21:47 PM
My mother has been renting out a room for her adult son and girlfriend for several years and run into some serious debt lending him money and not getting any rent either.
I've taken on the task to bring a stop to it before it gets much worse.
I can advise my mum to get him to sign an AST but I just wanted to check if this form was appropriate as he is a lodger and won't be paying a deposit. I want to make sure that he has a legally binding contract for both him and his girlfriend who have taken the you know what for years.
So, the son (your brother or half-brother) and girlfriend live in your mother's house. And they don't pay her rent, and borrow money from her, and she's in serious debt as a result.
That being the case, the best advice to give your mother is to evict her son/the girlfriend. She can do this very easily by giving them 24 hours notice, then changing the locks if they don't vacate.
If your mother will not do this, then I doubt that her son signing a written contract will change anything, because most likely he'll continue not to pay rent, and most likely she won't take steps to enforce the contract. Obviously, it's very difficult when it's her son involved, but as you are aware, she is acting against her long-term interests.
But going back to basics and your Q about legally binding contracts. If the son has verbally agreed to pay rent, that's already a binding contract, it's just one that is harder to enforce because it's not in writing and the two parties can argue about what was verbally agreed, and a court would have to decide.
If a written contract were to be signed, then it makes no difference what it's called, because the son's tenancy status is not determined by the title on the written contract, but by the physical circumstances - and, when the LL is resident, the occupier cannot be an AST tenant.
The solution is not getting the son to sign a written contract, from the sound of it, but to convince your mother that she is being used/abused, and the way out of her financial mess is to evict the son/gf and get a paying lodger in.
24-12-2011, 03:28 AM
We are only seeing this from OPs protctive stance, not mother's
Can a resident close family member be a lodger? I think not.
I agree, mother needs to'smell the coffee'
24-12-2011, 09:31 AM
I think mariner is correct in that anyone who lives with you as part of your own household is not a lodger if they are family members, they stay with you as your guest and therefore can be asked to leave at anytime. Although as stated it would depend on what your mother wanted.
24-12-2011, 09:53 AM
Anyone over 18 can be a lodger - including the homeowner's children - if there is an agreement to pay rent in exchange for living there, i.e. a contract.
Being blood relations does not prevent parties from entering into a contract with each other.
24-12-2011, 15:24 PM
Sorry for the delay there's an 8 hr time difference here.
Yes the house was paid of in '84 and it's all in my mothers name. She's reluctant to kick him out for a number of reasons. The phrase "better the Devil you know!" springs to mind but as crazy as it sounds I think he plays on her loneliness and occasionally helps her get in the shopping. Thats the same shopping she has to put on a 21.9% APR card because he doesn't give her rent. Everyone else has flown the coup long ago and unfortunately only one other brother really has made the effort to do something about this. Personally I'd love to evict him but I have to work with my mother as to whats reasonable. The best solution seems to be that we get him to sign an agreement and his girlfriend (likely the WHSmiths form mentioned above)that commits him to paying each week. I'll monitor mum bank account from here and if he's late HE"S OUT. I'm letting him know it would give me great satisfaction to evict him but I have a family and getting a criminal record puts them at risk.
I also thought about the relative angle and whether a son could qualify as a lodger but I think your right Westminster. I think the Americans call it an intervention when family members force a destructive member against their will into a living arrangement that prevents the problem. I think he'll have a great reluctance to signing anything but if he doesn't he'll be out on the 1st of January. On getting another lodger my mum is a carer for my Dad and she simply couldn't cope with taking on a lodger. I point out to her thats what my brothers girlfriend is! The house is too big (5 bed mid terrace) I'm trying to convince her to sell and get something alot smaller thats manageable.
I've tried being reasonable with him and sat him down and talked through the debts he's foisted on mum when every fibre of my being wants to knock his head off. He smiles in agreement (maybe too) much and I leave for the airport only to find out he's borrowed more money and has not paid rent. Mum is getting old and confused and either doesn't remember all the times or is too ashamed to tell what he's taken.
Maybe less than 5 years from now I don't want to be burying mum ruined in debt and stress, thinking did I do enough!
Thanks all for your advice and if you have family give them a hug and tell them you love them. We don't say it enough :)
Merry Christmas All I'm off to the kitchen to do the dishes and start the Turkey while my wife gets the cup of Tea in bed. I figure it gives me 364 days to remind her about "that time when I did the dishes..." lol
24-12-2011, 15:31 PM
it would give me great satisfaction to evict him but I have a family and getting a criminal record puts them at risk. If your actions were with your mums permission then it would be very difficult to get a criminal record doing this.
24-12-2011, 16:29 PM
I'll monitor mum bank account from here and if he's late HE"S OUT. I'm letting him know it would give me great satisfaction to evict him but I have a family and getting a criminal record puts them at risk.
It's very easy to evict a lodger legally. All the LL need do is give 'reasonable' notice (or whatever notice is specified in the contract, or has been agreed between the parties).* If the lodger doesn't go at the end of the notice period, the LL may change the locks (best done while the lodger's out) and refuse to allow the lodger back in. Completely legal.
It would, however, be illegal to use any physical force, i.e. physically haul the lodger out of the house and into the street. The LL also has a duty of care towards any belongings the lodger may leave behind.
See http://www.lodgerlandlord.co.uk/ for a wealth of information on taking in lodgers, and the relevant laws.
*But if the lodger has, for example, stolen from the LL or assaulted him/her, etc. then 'reasonable' notice may be 24 hours (or less).
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